For other uses, see Miss World (disambiguation).
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Miss World is the oldest running international beauty pageant. It was created in the United Kingdom by Eric Morley in 1951. Since his death in 2000, Morley’s widow, Julia Morley, has co-chaired the pageant. Along with Miss Universe, Miss International and Miss Earth, this pageant is one of the Big Four international beauty pageants—the most coveted beauty titles when it comes to international pageant competitions.
The current Miss World is Manushi Chhillar of India who was crowned on 18 November 2017 in Sanya, China.
- 1 History
- 1.1 20th century
- 1.2 21st century
- 2 Miss World Organization
- 2.1 1970s–1990s
- 2.2 Nigeria 2002
- 2.3 Indonesia 2013
- 2.4 China 2015
- 3 Titleholders
- 4 Winners gallery
- 5 Fast track events
- 5.1 Miss World Beach Beauty
- 5.2 Miss World Beauty With a Purpose
- 5.3 Miss World Best in Swimsuit
- 5.4 Miss World Sports Challenge
- 5.5 Miss World Talent
- 5.6 Miss World Top Model
- 5.7 Miss World Multimedia
- 6 Miss World hosts and artists
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
In 1951, Eric Morley organised a bikini contest as part of the Festival of Britain celebrations that he called the Festival Bikini Contest. The event was popular with the press, and was dubbed “Miss World” by the media. The swimsuit competition was intended as a promotion for the bikini which had only recently been introduced onto the market, and which was still widely regarded as immodest. When the 1951 Miss World pageant winner, Kerstin “Kiki” Hakansson from Sweden, was crowned in a bikini, it added to the controversy.
The pageant was originally planned as a Pageant for the Festival of Britain, but Eric Morley decided to make the Miss World pageant an annual event. Morley registered the “Miss World” name as a trademark, and all future pageants were held under that name. However, because of the controversy arising from Håkansson’s crowning in a bikini, countries with religious traditions threatened not to send delegates to future events, and the bikini was condemned by the Pope. Objection to the bikini led to its replacement in all future pageants with what was accepted as more modest swimwear, and from 1976 swimsuits were replaced by evening gowns for the crowning. Håkansson remains the only Miss World crowned in a bikini. In Miss World 2013 all participants wore a one-piece swimsuit plus a traditional sarong below the waist as a compromise with local culture.
Morley announced the Miss World winners in the order No. 3, No. 2 and No. 1. This keeps the tension up and avoids the anticlimax if Nos. 2 and 3 are announced after the winner.
In 1959, the BBC started broadcasting the pageant. The pageant’s popularity grew with the advent of television. During the 1960s and 1970s, Miss World would be among the most watched programs of the year on British television. However, in 1970, the Miss World contest in London was disrupted by women’s liberation protesters armed with flour bombs, stink bombs, and water pistols.
In the 1980s, the pageant repositioned itself with the slogan Beauty With a Purpose, with added tests of intelligence and personality. However, there have been various objections to the contest. Although it still “enjoys success worldwide, it was no longer broadcast in BBC since 1980 and last broadcast on UK televisions in 1988.”
Eric Morley died in 2000, and his wife, Julia, succeeded as chairwoman of the Miss World organisation.
The first black African Miss World winner, Agbani Darego of Nigeria, was crowned in 2001. As part of its marketing strategy, Miss World came up with a “Vote For Me” television special during that edition, featuring the delegates behind the scenes and on the beach, and allowing viewers to either phone in or vote online for their favourites. It also sells its Talent, Beach Beauty and Sports events as television specials to broadcasters.
In 2002 the pageant was slated for Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria to host its final. This choice was controversial, as a northern Nigerian woman, Amina Lawal, was awaiting death by stoning for adultery under Sharia law there, but Miss World chose to use the publicity surrounding its presence to bring greater global awareness and action to Amina’s plight (see Controversies section).
In the Miss World 2014 ceremony, Aishwarya Rai was crowned Most Successful Miss World by the Miss World Organisation. She attended the celebration with her husband Abhishek Bachchan, daughter Aaaradhya and mother Brinda Rai.
Miss World Organization
Ivian Sarcos in a school in Mumbai, India
The Miss World Organization owns and manages the annual Miss World Finals, a competition that has grown into one of the world’s biggest. Since its launch in 1951, the Miss World organisation has raised more than £250 million for children’s charities that help disabled and underprivileged children. Miss World is franchised in more than 100 countries. Miss World, Limited is a privately held firm, and thus figures for its earnings, expenses and charitable contributions are not publicly available.
The Miss World pageant has been the target of many controversies since its inception.
- In 1970, feminist protesters threw flour bombs during the live event at London’s Royal Albert Hall, momentarily alarming the host, Bob Hope.
- The 1973 winner, Marjorie Wallace, was stripped of her title on 8 March 1974, because she had failed to fulfill the basic requirements of the job. The Miss World organizers did not elect someone to serve in her place.
- In 1976, several countries went on a boycott, because the pageant included both a Caucasian and African representative for South Africa. South Africa competed for the last time in 1977, before returning in 1991 as Apartheid disintegrated.
- The 1980 winner Gabriella Brum of Germany resigned one day after winning, initially claiming her boyfriend disapproved. A few days later it emerged that she had been forced to resign after it was discovered that she posed naked for a magazine.
- In 1996, wide-scale protests took place in Bangalore, India, over the hosting of the beauty contest. The swimsuit shootings were moved to the Seychelles, and heavy security was in place. Despite the chaos, the pageant’s live telecast went smoothly.
Main article: Miss World 2002
In the year leading up the finals in Nigeria, several European title holders lobbied their governments and the EU parliament to support Amina Lawal’s cause. A number of contestants followed the lead of Kathrine Sørland of Norway in boycotting the contest (despite the controversy Sørland would go on to become a semi-finalist in both the Miss World and Miss Universe contest), while others such as Costa Rica were instructed by their national governments and parliaments not to attend the contest. Among the other boycotting nations were Denmark, Spain, Switzerland, Panama, Belgium and Kenya. There was further controversy over the possibly suspended participation of France and South Africa, which may or may not have been due to the boycott. For her part, Lawal asked that contestants not suspend their participation in the contest, saying that it was for the good of her country and that they could, as the representative of Sweden had earlier remarked, make a much stronger case for her on the ground in Nigeria.
Despite the increasing international profile the boycott was garnering in the world press, the contest went ahead in Nigeria after being rescheduled to avoid taking place during Ramadan, with many prominent nations sending delegates. Osmel Sousa of Venezuela, one of the world’s most influential national directors, famously said “there is no question about it (the participation of Miss Venezuela in the contest).” The trouble did not end there, however. A ThisDay (Lagos, Nigeria) newspaper editorial suggesting that Muhammad would probably have chosen one of his wives from among the contestants had he been alive to see it, resulted in inter-religious riots that started on 22 November in which over 200 people were killed in the city of Kaduna, along with many houses of worship being burned by religious zealots. Because of these riots, the 2002 pageant was moved to London, following widely circulated reports that the representatives of Canada and Korea had withdrawn from the contest and returned to their respective countries out of safety concerns. A fatwa urging the beheading of the woman who wrote the offending words, Isioma Daniel, was issued in Nigeria, but was declared null and void by the relevant Saudi Arabian authorities. Upon the pageant’s return to England, many of the boycotting contestants chose to attend, including Miss Norway, Kathrine Sørland, who was ironically tipped in the last few days as the number one favourite for the crown she had previously boycotted.
The eventual winner of the pageant was Azra Akın of Turkey, the first predominantly Muslim country to hold the title since Egypt in 1954.
Main article: Miss World 2013
In Miss World 2013, protests by Islamic groups began a few weeks before the contest began, resulting in the pageant’s finale and all pre-pageant activities being isolated to Hindu-majority Bali.
Main article: Miss World 2015
Anastasia Lin, Miss World Canada, was not given visa to travel in China and hence missed the official deadline of 20 November 2015 for entry to the Miss World 2015 pageant, and was declared persona non grata by the Chinese government since she openly criticized China’s human rights violations. She was later allowed by the Miss World Organization to compete at Miss World 2016.
For full list and details, see List of Miss World titleholders.
Miss World 2017
Miss World 2016
Stephanie Del Valle
Miss World 2015
Miss World 2013
Miss World 2011
Miss World 2010
Miss World 2009
Miss World 2008
Miss World 2007
Miss World 2006
Miss World 2004
María Julia Mantilla
Miss World 2003
Miss World 2002
Miss World 2000
Miss World 1999
Miss World 1998
Miss World 1997
Miss World 1995
Miss World 1994
Miss World 1993
Miss World 1977
Miss World 1969
Miss World 1968
Miss World 1967
Miss World 1964
Miss World 1962
Miss World 1959
Miss World 1957
Fast track events
The winner of these events, called “fast track” competitions, automatically make it into the semifinals of Miss World. The fast track categories are Miss World Beach Beauty, Beauty With a Purpose, Sports Challenge, Talent and Top Model. Miss World Beach Beauty, replacing Miss World Best in Swimsuit, and Miss World Sports were added in 2003. Miss World Top Model was added in 2004. Miss World Multimedia was added in 2012.
Miss World Beach Beauty
Miss World Beach Beauty was a swimsuit or fast track competition in the Miss World pageant. The Beach Beauty event first started in 2003, when the Miss World Organization decided to have preliminary or fast track events to automatically give a semifinal spot to some of the delegates. This event allowed the Miss World delegates (over 100) to have a chance of being in the semifinals. The winner goes on to make the semifinals automatically. The Beach Beauty event showcased different swimsuits designed by Miss World 1975, Wilnelia Merced. In 2014, the organisation eliminated the swimsuit competition from the pageant.
Miss World Beauty With a Purpose
Main article: Beauty with a Purpose
See also: Beauty with a Purpose § Beauty With a Purpose winners
Beauty with a Purpose, formerly known as Miss World Scholarship, is an event established in 2001 that is celebrated during the activities prior to the Miss World pageant. It awards the contestant with the most relevant and important charity project in her nation. Since 2005 the winner automatically makes the semifinals. Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar from India is the first Beauty With a Purpose recipient to eventually win the Miss World crown.
Miss World Best in Swimsuit
Miss World Best in Swimsuit was an award given to the delegate at Miss World who has the highest score at the swimsuit competition during the finals. The award has only been given out for 3 years and no award was presented from 1998 to 2002. The new Miss World Beach Beauty competition was established in 2003 to choose the new Best in Swimsuit winner. The winner proceeded to make the semifinals automatically. The winner of this award is chosen in the list of semifinalists during the finals, unlike Beach Beauty which chooses the winner in a batch of 100+ contestants.
Miss World Sports Challenge
Miss World Sports or Sportswoman is a title and award given to the winner of a sports event at Miss World. It is a fast track or preliminary event, giving the winner automatic entry into the semifinals. So far there are 5 Miss World Sports winners starting at 2003. In 2005, there was no Miss Sports winner because it wasn’t held as an individual fast track event, but rather a continental team competition. Starting in 2006, the individual competition was back again.
Miss World Talent
Miss World Talent is a talent or fast track competition in the Miss World pageant, in which a number of contestants show their abilities in singing, dancing, poetry, etc. Introduced in Miss World 1978, the winner of the event automatically makes it into the semifinals starting 2003. The award returned at Miss World 2001.
Miss World Top Model
The Miss World Top Model is a modeling fast track competition at the Miss World Pageant. The competition was first held in 2004, but not in 2005-2006. It has been held since 2007; the winner of the competition automatically qualifies for the semifinals.
Miss World Multimedia
The Miss World Multimedia is a social media fast track competition at the Miss World Pageant. It was first incorporated in 2012. As part of this contest, the girls are updating about their preparations for the pageant, their social work, their wardrobe, their stay during the pageant and other things. Based on their interactions with fans on various social media channels, a winner is chosen.
Miss World hosts and artists
This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.
The following is a list Miss World hosts and invited artists through the years.
Peter Marshall and Mary Stävin
Five Star and The Ken Warwick Dancers
Peter Marshall and Alexandra Bastedo
Rick Astley and The Ken Warwick Dancers
Peter Marshall and Alexandra Bastedo
Koreana and Donny Osmond
Peter Marshall, Alexandra Bastedo and John Davidson
Peter Marshall and Michelle Rocca
Jason Donovan and Richard Clayderman
Peter Marshall and Gina Tolleson
Billy Dee Williams, Jerry Hall, Deborah Shelton, Doreen Morris and Suanne Braun
Abigail Kubheka, Sophia Foster, MarcAlex, Mara Louw, Paul Buckby, Malie Kelly, Leslie Klein-Smith and Soweto String Quartet
Pierce Brosnan, Doreen Morris, Kim Alexis and Gina Tolleson
George Benson, Crissy Caine, Jon Cecil, Sam Marais, PJ Powers and Vicky Sampson
Richard Steinmetz, Suanne Braun and Bronson Pinchot
David Abbate, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Johnny Clegg, Free Flight Dance Company and Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Richard Steinmetz, Jeff Trachta and Bobbie Eakes
Caught in the Act
Richard Steinmetz and Ruby Bhatia
Richard Steinmetz and Khanyi Dhlomo Mkhize
Eden Harel and Ronan Keating
Boyzone and Errol Brown
Ulrika Jonsson and Melanie Sykes
Robert Palmer, Westlife and Enrique Iglesias
Jerry Springer and Rebecca de Alba
Bryan Ferry, bond, Leonard Cohen and S Club 7
Jerry Springer and Claire Elizabeth Smith
Sean Kanan and Claire Elizabeth Smith
Chayanne and BBMak
Phil Keoghan, Amanda Byram and Angela Chow
Luis Fonsi, Bryan Ferry, Morrissey and Wuhan Acrobatic Troupe
Troy McClain, Angela Chow and Lisa Snowdon
Lionel Richie and Il Divo
Tim Vincent and Angela Chow
Alexander O’Neal and Beijing Singing & Dancing Theatre
Tim Vincent, Angela Chow and Grazyna Torbicka
Westlife, Robin Gibb and Amici
Fernando Allende and Angela Chow
Duncan James, Haikou Artistic Group, The South African Mvezo Choir and No. 9 Primary School of Sanya
Tumisho Masha and Angela Chow
McFly, Alesha Dixon, Jeanette Winterson
Angela Chow, Michelle McLean
Umoja, Gang of Instrumentals
Angela Chow, Steve Douglas
Shayne Ward, Dave Koz, Carlos Aponte
Angela Chow, Jason Cook, Steve Douglas
Diversity, Blue, Ramin Karimloo
Myleene Klass, Jason Cook, Lily Wu, Ni Ran Mutu, Steve Douglas
Rodrick Dixon, Huhehaote Youth Horse Cello Troupe
Myleene Klass, Kamal Ibrahim, Daniel Mananta, Amanda Zevannya, Steve Douglas
Matt Cardle, Blue, GIGI Art of Dance, Soerya Soemirat Dance Group, Iskandar Widjaja, Maylaffayza
Tim Vincent, Megan Young, Frankie Cena, Steve Douglas
Sky Blu, The Vamps
Tim Vincent, Megan Young, Angela Chow, Steve Douglas
Yu Wenxia, The Wholls, Julian Believe
Jason Cook, Megan Young, Frankie Cena, Steve Douglas
Rodrick Dixon, Morrison Brothers
Fernando Allende, Angela Chow, Megan Young, Frankie Cena, Barney Walsh, Steve Douglas
Kristian Kostov, Celine Tam, Jeffrey Li, Zizi
Frankie Cena, Stephanie Del Valle, Barney Walsh, Jay Kamiraz
- Beauty with a Purpose – a registered charity and a non-profit organisation associated with Miss World that raises money and participates in humanitarian projects across the world
- Hunters, Story (16 May 2016). “Miss World: Old-fashioned, sexist beauty contest or advancing feminism’s cause?”. ABC News. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
- Official website
- Complete list